The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] – Volume 23, Number 31
Santa Barbara County Youth Law Enforcement Program Offers New Scholarships
By Taylor O’Connor
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse was founded to help the sheriff’s office maintain efficiency, improve morale and efficiency, and find solutions to law enforcement issues.
As board chairman Richard Kline explained, the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization is raising funds to complete office equipment and training. So far, the group has raised funds for personal protective equipment, protective vests, night vision goggles, specialized weapons and dogs for the K-9 unit, Kline said. A few years ago, the group founded the Sheriff’s Explorers, a program to help young people in the community find careers and receive their education to be “prosperous citizens.”
“The Sheriff’s Explorer program is for young people, from eighth grade to age 20, who are interested in potential careers in law enforcement,” he said. “It’s a great program that imparts a wide variety of skills in leadership, communication, public speaking, career planning and of course areas directly related to law enforcement.”
Youth enrolled in the program attend meetings once a month where they receive education and training on the law enforcement code of ethics, the criminal justice system, basic patrol procedures, traffic, daily physical fitness, crime scene investigations and fingerprinting, Kline said.
“Each year they will participate in competitions in fields [throughout] California,” he added. “Members are placed in law enforcement roles in a controlled environment to put their training and knowledge to the test in a variety of scenario-based simulations, giving them hands-on experience of what a career in law enforcement might involve. ”
In addition to gaining experience in law enforcement, this year Board Member Richard Berti donated a $100,000 endowment to create a Lifetime Fellowship Program, which will fund two scholarships of $2,500 each, Kline said.
“We would like to give more than two scholarships, but…the goal is to give 4-6% of the endowment annually as scholarships, and this will allow the endowment to exist in perpetuity and the scholarships to exist” , did he declare.
The Benevolent Posse has partnered with the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, which has an existing “robust” selection process, to select the most qualified applicants, Kline said.
“Each year, the scholarship foundation — in cooperation with the sheriff’s office and the senior deputy who runs the explorer program — will select the people who will receive the scholarship,” he explained. “It will be based on academic achievement, depending on their dedication to the program, and a variety of other factors that will be reviewed and selected for those who will be most appropriate to receive support.
Financial need will also play a large role in the selection process, but the focus is on academic achievement, commitment to the Explorer program and future goals, Kline added.
“I know it’s fully open to anyone interested and adding individuals throughout the year. It requires a commitment to at least attend monthly meetings and participate in the program,” he said. “It’s just a great opportunity for them to be part of a program set up by seasoned MPs and learn from their experience.”
Those interested in joining can email Senior Deputy Dave Robertson at [email protected] Visit sbsheriffsposse.org to learn more about the Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse or to contribute to the scholarship program.
• The Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation announced that the ninth annual Day of Hope event raised $344,720 to support cancer patients at the Mission Hope Cancer Center. This year’s total exceeds last year’s $316,000. The foundation has recognized several community members and teams for their outstanding fundraising efforts. There are two categories of teams: corporate teams encompass the name of their company and the company’s team effort to raise funds for the cause, while friends and family teams are led by an individual or a family. The first place company team, Rugged Radios, raised $57,350, and the first place friends and family team, Passion for Color, raised $25,030.
• Lompoc Parks and Recreation has announced that the Lompoc Aquatic Center will host a Dunkin for Pumpkins event on October 23rd. Starting at 10 a.m., this event will transform the Aquatic Center activity pool into a floating pumpkin patch, where the public is invited to swim and choose a floating pumpkin. Attendees can decorate their pumpkins at a decorating station on the patio from 11 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration is required. General admission including a pumpkin is $14, $6 without. Children 6 and under must be within reach of an adult at all times. Registration can be completed online at apm.activecommunities.com/lompocreation.
Taylor O’Connor wrote This Week’s Spotlight. She can be contacted at [email protected]